Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The New Meatball Sub – Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

Perhaps one of my favorite comfort foods, this dish scores high all around from taste, to texture, to nutrition, to versatility.  Vegetarian?  Swap the meatballs.  Vegan? Hold the cheese. Gluten-free? No pasta, no problems.  Tender roasted spaghetti squash creates the vessel for a piping hot marina sauce, tender meatballs, and serve up your very own meatball “sub”.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the spaghetti squash:
2 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Place squash halves on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast at 425 for about 1 hour.  Check at 45 minutes using a fork to see if the squash flesh easily pulls apart and appears like strands of spaghetti.

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey
¼ cup dried bread crumbs (skip or replace for gluten free)
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons pesto
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
¾ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoons black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix by hand.  Mix just until all ingredients are incorporated.  Form into about 1-inch balls.  Preheat a skillet to medium heat and add a swirl of olive oil.  Brown meatballs on all sides in batches (about 2 minutes per side) and set aside.  Don’t worry that they are not cooked all the way, they will continue cooking in the sauce.

For the marinara sauce:
Option 1: Jazz up your favorite jarred tomato sauce.
Option 2:
Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped basil or 1 tablespoon pesto
Salt and pepper

In a large skillet or pot, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add onion and cook until just starts to brown.  Add garlic and cook for one more minute.  Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for about 10 minutes and add basil.  Add browned meatballs and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, until meatballs are fully cooked.

To serve:
Place one spaghetti squash on each plate.  Using a fork, scrape some of the spaghetti squash strands loose and leave in the squash shell.  Top with about 3-4 meatballs, a dollop of sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  One order of comfort, comin’ up!

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Around the Table

Around the Table
We love good food, get excited for Market Basket & Trader Joe's, serve salad out of a pasta pot, marvel in food photography, and love to laugh. You're always welcome at our table. Click on this photo to view our "People Around the Table" album.